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The Climate is Hitting Back: The Pentagon has already begun to feel the negative impacts of wreaking such havoc on the environment, as massive flooding and extreme weather events like Hurricane Michael have cost the administration billions in repairs for military bases. Droughts, wildfires, desertification and rising sea levels are already interfering in the way the Pentagon operates in terms of training, construction, and deployment. In the Arctic, the melting of glaciers is opening up previously closed sea routes and creating increased geopolitical competition and conflict over the waters and their natural resources. Climate change is severely undermining our military readiness, but our Department of Defense is only making it worse.
The U.S. Response? In 2018, military spending in the U.S. reached an all-time high since 2010, with a 4.6% annual increase that added up to $649 billion. Rather than reducing our emissions and developing more fuel-efficient technologies, thus enabling our military to better protect the U.S. from future disasters, White House officials are attempting to further increase military spending for fiscal 2020.
Why This Matters: The Navy under the Obama Administration and the leadership of former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus worked hard to create a steady supply of biofuels for Navy jets, but there needs to be a huge leap in that supply in order to replace fossil fuels, of which jet fuel is the largest category. Military installations have great potential to develop solar power too. There is also money to be saved – the Pentagon is the largest single purchaser of fossil fuels in the world – switching to renewable fuels will save the Pentagon big bucks. But what is needed is a commitment to reduce the military’s greenhouse gas emissions and a deadline for the Defense Department to reach carbon neutrality. This is a key part of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden’s climate plans.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer On Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would be returning to the Obama-era method of calculating the “social cost of greenhouse gasses.” This metric is a measure of how much each metric ton of carbon emitted will cost future generations, including the costs of hurricane damage, flooding, wildfires, and other effects of […]
In a little-noticed report that could have major implications for both the Eastern U.S. and Europe, scientists announced last week that Atlantic Ocean currents are thought to be 15% weaker than in 1950. The Washington Post explained, saying that the “system of currents that includes the Florida Current and the Gulf Stream, is now ‘in its weakest state in over a millennium.'”
Why This Matters: We need to understand both these phenomena better to predict climate events. They are quite a coincidence.
“You can’t find a Utahn who doesn’t really care about clean air and clean water.” @RepJohnCurtis said his goal is to find ways “to make them feel more comfortable [politically] talking about it.” @LeeDavi49903322 #climate https://t.co/jVpPBJq0GE — CCL Salt Lake City (@CCLsaltlake) February 19, 2021 By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Representative John Curtis of […]
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